On Oct.15, the House of Blues Anaheim will be one of 200 venues around the country teaming up with the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund's annual event. Every year the non-profit raises money for musicians who are struggling to make ends meet. According to Sweet Relief, over 65 percent of
professional musicians cannot afford heath insurance; the fund provides financial assistance with medical bills,
insurance premiums, prescriptions, housing costs, food costs, and
alternative therapies/treatments that are not covered by insurance.
For this year's event, the House of Blues is showcasing five bands: Kiev, Jeremiah Red, Paulie Pesh, I Hate You Just Kidding
and May McDonough & Co. Over the weekend we caught up with Kiev, Orange County Music Award Winners for best Indie Band, to chat with
them about the Sweet Relief Foundation and their up coming show.
Why are you guys excited for the Sweet Relief show on the 15th?
Brandon Corn: Lots of reasons! First, this is going to be our first local headlining show, so we're really excited about that.
Bobby Brinkerhoff: We're also releasing an EP the same night. It's
taken us some time to release new music, so we're excited to give our
fans something new to listen to. Lastly, we have been able to hang out
with the other bands on the bill and it's created a major sense of
camaraderie. The other night everyone on the bill got together to hang
out and play music, which was awesome and a lot of fun.
What can someone who has never seen you guys live before expect to see at the show on Saturday?
Corn: New music! But I guess someone who has never seen us before won't know that it's new music. (Laughs.)
Brinkerhoff: Definitely lots of layers and cool sounds.
How did the band get involved with the Sweet Relief Foundation?
Brinkerhoff: The president of Sweet Relief, Bill Bennett,
reached out and asked us if we would play on the 15th, which was
something we were very excited to say yes to. He looks for bands that
are working hard and have passion for what they do and puts together
great shows and great bills. We are really excited to be a part of Sweet
What makes the Sweet Relief show different than other benefit shows you guys have played?
Brinkerhoff: We always try and get involved with benefit shows
when the opportunities arise. We seem to gravitate towards charities
and events that we have personal connections with. This one, obviously,
hits very close to home since we are dedicated musicians. We very much
understand the importance of supporting the makers of an art that we
appreciate so much, especially in such an unpredictable world. The
state of music as a commodity is so uncertain yet it seems to be just as
important and prevalent as ever. It takes a life commitment and a slew
of sacrifices to contribute good music to the world. Once you become
aware of that it's hard to write off the well being of musicians in
How does it feel knowing that while you guys are performing, there
are going to be 200 other people around the country playing at that
exact moment for the same cause?
Brinkerhoff: This is probably one of the coolest aspects of
the night. Music at its best is a positive communal experience. Just
taking all the musicians, organizers, fans, friends, and family coming
together in our little corner of the world, and then multiplying that by
200 simultaneously really gives the feeling of a gigantic musical
tribe. Tribes stick together and take care of each other. It's really a
great symbol of appreciation and reminder that music is worth a lot more
than what is reflected on a sales chart.
Does this foundation have any personal significance to you guys?
Corn: Absolutely. Most musicians are uninsured, and if it
weren't for a foundation like Sweet Relief many musicians wouldn't be
able to do what they love to do due to illness, injury or death. It's
really great to know that there is a community of people out there that
recognizes that it's a bad situation and are doing something to help.
Brinkerhoff: Musicians define the term “starving artists”
because only 1 percent of bands/musicians actually make it. For the rest there
is a lot of hardship and sacrifice that is faced because musicians who
are not in that one percentile group do not make very much money.
Is there any specific message you want to send out about Sweet Relief that you want people reading this to know?
Corn: Research Sweet Relief and come to the show. If you appreciate music, this is your time to reach out!
Brinkerhoff: It's so easy to just stay at home and do nothing.
Just by getting out and going to the House of Blues on Saturday, you're
helping out a great cause and giving back.